COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

ZTA 03-02 Personal Wireless Service Facilities

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance implementing the second phase of regulations pertaining to personal wireless service facilities.  This amends several existing regulations and adds provisions for the three-tiered review system recommended by the Personal Wireless Service Facilities Policy.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, McCulley, Sprinkle, Waller

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

July 14, 2004

 

ACTION:     X                        INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                             INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

At its meeting on April 20, 2004, the Planning Commission reviewed and unanimously recommended approval of the proposed amendments to Section 5.1.40 of the Zoning Ordinance, related definitions in Section 3.1, and individual district regulations allowing Tier I and Tier II personal wireless service facilities by right and Tier III personal wireless service facilities by special use permit.  The latest proposed draft amended, dated July 7, 2004, is attached as Attachment A, and the staff report and text amendment from the Planning Commission meeting are attached as Attachments B and C.

           

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 2.1: Protect and/or preserve the County's rural character.

Goal 2.2: Protect and/or preserve the County's natural resources.

Goal 4.1: Provide effective, responsive and courteous service to our customers

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The Planning Commission requested that the following changes be made to address their specific concerns:

 

            Include a provision that would allow an applicant to submit an application for a Tier III facility if that same facility was denied as a Tier II facility. 

Note: This has been addressed under Section 3.1 of the revised ordinance amendment in the definition for Tier III facilities.

 

            Include language that would enable an applicant to appeal the denial of a waiver to allow a Tier II facility to be installed more than 7 feet, but not more than 10 feet, above the tallest tree within 25 feet.

Note: This has been addressed in the last sentence of Section 5.1.40.d(5).

 

            Include a list of specific criteria and guidelines for the Zoning Administrator to determine whether to require surety for the cost of removing a facility. 

Note: These criteria have been added to Section 5.1.40.c(6).

 

            Revise the tree conservation requirements to require a tree conservation plan in all cases; the prior draft allowed the applicant to submit a statement that no tree would be removed in lieu of a tree conservation plan.

Note: These revised tree conservation requirements are in Section 5.1.40.c(4).

 

 

Some representatives of the wireless industry expressed concern to the Planning Commission that the proposed definition of "avoidance area" was so broad that virtually all treetop wireless facilities would be classified as Tier III facilities, requiring a special use permit (in contrast, a Tier II facility would be approved by the Commission without conditions provided all applicable regulations were satisfied).  Although the Commission briefly discussed this concern, it did not make a recommendation as to whether the definition should be revised.  After the Planning Commission meeting, staff conducted research that found that all of the treetop facilities approved by the Board within the past two years would have been classified as Tier III facilities.  In response to these findings, staff recommends that the definition of "avoidance area" be narrowed to encompass those resources commanding the greatest protection in the Natural Resources and Cultural Assets section of the Comprehensive Plan and the Personal Wireless Service Facilities Policy.  The two criteria deleted from the prior draft are: "any location that would adversely impact any resource identified in the open space plan or a natural resource or cultural asset identified in chapter 2 of the comprehensive plan", and "any location having unlimited visibility."    

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After the public hearing, staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached ordinance dated July 7, 2004.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A - Latest proposed zoning ordinance amendment dated July 7, 2004

B - Staff report from the Planning Commission meeting on April 20, 2004 

C - Previously proposed zoning ordinance text, dated April 14, 2004
View PC minutes

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